Izery, Turkish War, and the Holy Roman Emperor

In 1527, we read in the „Heimatbuch des Kreises Löwenberg in Schlesien” (1959), Bad Flinsberg (today Świeradów Zdrój), paid 142 Thalers in a contribution for a war against the Ottoman Empire. The village of Blumendorf (Kwieciszowice) paid almost three times as much: 386 Thaler. This is interesting since today Świeradów has some 4250 residents, and Kwieciszowice a mere 134, over 30 times less. 

The first „proper” Thaler had just been minted: the Joachimsthaler Gulden (1525), which was one ounce in weight (27.2 g):

Joachimsthal is today’s Jáchymov in Bohemia. The Thaler was  minted with silver from recently discovered deposits:


During that time, Jáchymov attracted the interest of Georg Bauer, better known as Georgius Agricola, who based his pioneering and famous Re Metallica chiefly on metallurgical studies conducted there in the late 1520s.

The Thaler (which is of course the origin of the „dollar”) will become the de facto monetary standard of the Holy Roman Empire:

[Thaler of Ferdinand I of Austria, 1560]

In 1527, Ferdinand was raising the war tax as king of Bohemia and Hungary, which he had been since the death of his brother, Louis II, in the Battle of Mohacs a year earlier.

A hundred years later, the Thaler will look  like this:

Or this:

Ferdinand (born 1503) as a young boy:

After raising funds for his military activities, Ferdinand  made some gains against Jan Zapolya in Hungary in 1528, but when the Ottoman ruler, Suleiman the Magnificent, went into action himself, the Spanish-born king saw the low point of his career when Vienna was besieged in 1529.

In 1531, Ferdinand will be elected as king of the Romans:
Świeradów had first been mentioned in history not much earlier, in 1524, and interestingly, as „Fegebeutel”. Kwieciszowice has a much older pedigree, dating back to 1305, according to the „Heimatbuch”, where it is stressed as a „Neugrundung”, a village newly founded (= by German-speaking colonists). At that time, the area was still primarily Slavic.

 [Geographische Delin. des Zum Churfürstenthum Sachssen gehörigen Marg Graffthum Oberlausitz, by Adam Friedrich Kartenzeichner [the Cartographer], before 1742]

A few images from Kwieciszowice in the 2010s:

Źródło: Izery, Turkish War, and the Holy Roman Emperor

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